Belize to the Rescue of its Reefs, Heritage in Danger

With the support of a legislation voted in 2017, Belize hopes to have taken the necessary steps to ensure that its barrier reef, the second largest in the world, is removed this week by UNESCO from the list of endangered heritage, in which It has been almost a decade.

Submerged in the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Belizean Caribbean, the coral reef, one of the largest marine ecosystems in the Atlantic, has been threatened by deepwater oil exploitation.

In the winch of the barrier, there are many species, the same fishes of varied colours and sizes that cross with enormous coral and yellow sharks that turtles that swim placidly.

This coral reef, which extends over 380 km, is only surpassed by the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

It has become a great tourist attraction, especially for diving enthusiasts, to whom local guides guide them to the barrier and teach them how to behave to appreciate it without damaging it.

Belize lacked greater laws on environmental protection, which led UNESCO in 2009 to declare the coral reef, a World Heritage Site since 1996, in danger.

The call of attention also reached its mangroves, fish hatcheries that are then integrated into the reef and that were disappearing in front of the cement of indiscriminate urban development.

The World Heritage Committee is meeting until July 3 in Manama, Bahrain, and this agenda shows this natural wealth of Belize.

To convince UNESCO, whose decision is imminent, the Belizean government demonstrated an indefinite moratorium on offshore oil operations voted in 2017 by Parliament.

Belize to the Rescue of its Reefs, Heritage in Danger

The first to bid for the moratorium were environmentalists who in 2012 conducted an informal referendum in which 96% of the population was against oil prospecting on the high seas.

 

Source: Guatevision